Yet there remains disagreement that Lil B's nonrhyming shower of half-sensical musings, splattered over beats with few hooks, counts as a legitimate hip-hop. "A lot of people, they're like, 'He can't do that,'" hip-hop DJ D Sharp says. "But he's like, 'Fuck you, I can.' And people don't like that."

This hardly troubles Lil B, who munches on chunks of watermelon as he ponders the issue. "A lot of people in hip-hop are followers," he says. "They're afraid to do something new. It's a lot of rules I'm breaking."

One rule he breaks is the hypermasculine image demanded of male MCs. He has joked about being gay, and once Tweeted that he would force anal sex on Kanye West unless West agreed to a collaboration. Then, at Coachella this spring, Lil B — who says he's straight — announced that his upcoming album would be called I'm Gay. Responses came quickly — some as death threats.

The notion of it being a Bay Area rapper who dares to challenge hip hop's latent homophobia seems natural. But is I'm Gay an act of protest or an act of attention-grabbing?

"I knew I was challenging what people in hip-hop and a lot of people in the world still have stereotypes on," he says, implying allegiance to the cause. After the initial I'm Gay uproar, though, Lil B added the explanatory subtitle "I'm happy."

Even in a one-on-one interview, it's hard to tell what he means to say. "I respect gay people," he says. "And 'gay' is just a word. Of course I love gay people because they're human. I love babies and new people and anybody that's on Earth as long as they've got a good soul and they're not thieves."

And so Lil B wriggles back into his mythology, leaving it up to his interpreters to decide which parts of his answers came from Brandon McCartney, the skinny marketing genius, and which came from Lil B, the hyperactive online deity.


Whatever the title of Lil B's album, all the graphic sex he depicts is with women. Natassia Zolot, on the other hand, is a nationally known rapper signed to a major label who actually shows herself in videos getting with people of the same sex. But Kreayshawn, as she's better known, refuses labels like "bisexual" or "occasional lesbian" — partly, she says, because accepting one could spark prejudice against her in the hip-hop community. "Titling keeps us separate," the 21-year-old says. "I usually just say I'm a free spirit."

Even without emphasizing her sexuality, Kreayshawn has raised a considerable uproar just by being who she is: a creative-minded rapping white woman raised in the "murder dubs" of Oakland — and a reminder of the unusual people produced by the urban milieu of the Bay Area. Since signing with Columbia, she has been on a nonstop press tour around the U.S. and Europe. On the day she speaks with SF Weekly, she's already done four interviews. She says all this has only underscored the uniqueness of home.

"Being from the Bay, it's kind of like we only understand each other," says Kreayshawn, who moved to L.A. in February. "It's kind of multicultural, and there's a whole bunch of subscenes. It makes sense to me, and it makes sense to people who were raised like that. But there's also going to be people who don't understand it."

She was born in San Francisco to a 17-year-old girl who played in a band — so by the age of 5, Kreayshawn was already a rock 'n' roller. There's a recording online of her shouting "Boys are toys!" over fuzzy surf-punk from the Trashwomen, a Berkeley outfit in which her mom, Elka, played guitar. The child's playful shrillness anticipates the spirit Kreayshawn now brings to lines like "Basic bitches wear that shit, so I don't even bother."

By age 10, Zolot was freestyling over beats made on her mom's boyfriend's DJ equipment. She gravitated toward hip-hop and stations like KMEL, but she even made country songs with her friends. In her teen years, she bonded with V-Nasty over video, graphic design, and music — and a desire to avoid the troubled lives many of their peers ended up leading. "We both grew up white girls in Oakland, which is really hard, because some girls, they go down the wrong path," she explains. "They end up becoming hos."

About a year ago, Kreayshawn started taking herself seriously as a musician. Partly, she was inspired by meeting Lil B, who was putting everything he made — no matter how ridiculous — out for the world to hear. Then Kreayshawn met Stretch, who encouraged her; she'd soon finished a batch of songs that included "Gucci Gucci." She and Stretch showed the track around to mixed reaction. "People would say stuff like, 'This is never going to be on the radio,'" she remembers. Then "Gucci Gucci" hit the airwaves.

Prince Aries had heard an earlier Kreayshawn song called "Bumpin' Bumpin'" before, and he wasn't impressed. But the first time he heard "Gucci Gucci" on KMEL, he knew it was what he calls "a milestone in hip-hop."

« Previous Page
 |
 
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
All
 
Next Page »
 
My Voice Nation Help
20 comments
John
John

To everybody hating on Lil B and Kreayshawn please STOP. Lil B has a plethora of deep songs and videos on Youtube. However, his ignorant parody songs like "Pretty Boy" and "Wonton Soup" get millions of views while his serious well-put together songs and videos get well under 500K views. Who is the real idiot here? This is because the public eats up ignorance. Listen to Lil B's "Age of Information", "The Trap", "Motivation", "Walk the World", "Myspace", "The World is Ending", "Exhibit Based" and "The Growth". That is only a small sample. All of these songs display a deep message and or complex lyricism. If Lil B is trash, then why do J Cole, Lupe Fiasco, Lil Wayne, Jay Electronica and Cormega co-sign him? Lil B is one of the best rappers to come out the Bay in years. If anybody has a right to say that, it's me. I grew up in Lakeview in SF on Randolph Street looking up to Bay Area rap legends like Cougnut and Cellski.

Ramona Fuller
Ramona Fuller

Ĩ ČĂŃŤ βĔĹĨĔVĔ ŤĤĨŚ!! МĔ ĂŃĎ МŶ ŚĨŚŤĔŔ ĴÚŚŤ ĞŐŤ ŤŴŐ Ĩ-РĂĎŚ ŦŐŔ $42.77 ĔĂČĤ ĂŃĎ Ă $50 ĂМĂŹŐŃ ČĂŔĎ ŦŐŔ $9. ŤĤĔ ŚŤŐŔĔŚ ŴĂŃŤ ŤŐ ĶĔĔР ŤĤĨŚ Ă ŚĔČŔĔŤ ĂŃĎ ŤĤĔŶ ĎŐŃŤ ŤĔĹĹ ŶŐÚ.Go here www.tinyurl.com/3qa436v

Denbaronita2
Denbaronita2

i cant believe this me and my sister just got two i-pads for $42.77 each and a $50 amazon card for $9. the stores want to keep this a secret and they dont tell you.Go here http://bit.ly/qJFHsO

Emma Pope
Emma Pope

i cant believe this!! me and my sister just got two i-pads for $42.77 each and a $50 amazon card for $9. the stores want to keep this a secret and they dont tell you.go here, pluscent.com

Emma Pope
Emma Pope

i cant believe this!! me and my sister just got two i-pads for $42.77 each and a $50 amazon card for $9. the stores want to keep this a secret and they dont tell you.go here, pluscent.com

Emma Pope
Emma Pope

i cant believe this!! me and my sister just got two i-pads for $42.77 each and a $50 amazon card for $9. the stores want to keep this a secret and they dont tell you.go here, http://pluscent.com

Hip Hop Jewelry Store
Hip Hop Jewelry Store

Hip hop trend has become most popular trend in today’s world and growing highly over past decades which has led hip hop diamond jewelry as the most popular jewelry in people.

Druciferschild
Druciferschild

Well, they all suck. That's the bottom line. I think enough people have mentioned how much all of these TALENTLESS people are invading the already stupid ass RAP syndicate of the bay area. Let's just clarify that reeeeeal quick. THIS SHIT IS RAP, NOT HIP HOP and it also sucks.

onenine
onenine

These SF weekly articles on Bay Area Hip Hop are just as bad as the gimmick artists (Lil B, Kreayshawn) they are "promoting". Aren't these writers supposed to offer up their own opinions instead of calling any song with 2 million Youtube hits dope. Can we please get some articles on Bay Area artists who actually have real talent?

Walter White
Walter White

What the fuck? Why would you group actual talented rappers like Mistah FAB, Roach Gigz, or Odd Future with goofy novelty acts like Kreayshawn or Lil B?

Thatisoutstanding
Thatisoutstanding

Here's another hip term SF Weekly should get familiar with: "D-Rider"

I have no hate at all for these new artists getting their shine on, the problem is the society that supports them. Is the state of our current youth really this jaded? I can't believe i'm talking like this.

Amousai
Amousai

Why does same/lame individual bash SF Weekly, weekly?

Love the blow-up*cover

Kray
Kray

This article is so biased there's no way to take it seriously...

Alltherage
Alltherage

Bay Area Rappers need to stop with the SWAG SWAG stuff....That will come. Give us complete albums. Something that I will knock in the car AND listen to on my headphones and just stare into space.

ABc
ABc

Sf weekly is desperate to latch on to this trend... Honestly the quality is absolute shit an makes this publication look ridiculous

SELLASSIE
SELLASSIE

For the people reading this article upset by the unbalanced perspective presented regarding Bay Hip Hop, you shouldn't be surprised. When is the last time you heard an anti-drug-in-the-community song on corporate radio backed by print. When is the last time you heard a song dealing with our unjust wars that are still going on? When is the last time you heard any hip hop pioneers on corporate radio in rotation? I'll tell you when.. Never. My point is, there has to be a balance. I believe there is room for everyone in the game, but a balanced perspective when it comes to bay area hip hop is rarely seen, read or heard. I'm in the streets, not industry and real BLACK PEOPLE, not "niggas," have serious issues with our culture, our music and our images being pimped out to the highest bidder. But I was always taught, "they'll always be a new "nigga" next year, and it isn't anything to give a "nigga" some money." But there are some of us in this Bay Area Hip Hop game, til our last dying breath, no matter what the cost, will not give the agenda-setters the satisfaction of ruining the world with Sambo-inspired personalities and music. If you don't know who Sambo is, read Harriet Beecher Stowe's "Uncle Tom's Cabin" and study the personality which will reveal the Sambo we walk amongst today and represents so many misguided individuals. I'm Sellassie, the Bay Area's Number 1 Anti-House-Negro Emcee and when it comes to the truth and representing the people, you can count on me. Respectfully, Sellassie of M.Y.G.H.E.T.T.O. (Mad Young Generation Here Eternally To Take Over) and we don't sell out.

Dk
Dk

What doea all this have to do with music?

 

Concert Calendar

  • April
  • Thu
    17
  • Fri
    18
  • Sat
    19
  • Sun
    20
  • Mon
    21
  • Tue
    22
  • Wed
    23
San Francisco Event Tickets
©2014 SF Weekly, LP, All rights reserved.
Loading...